Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital of Brunei, a country that is waiting to be discovered, and with a tourism industry that still has a lot to develop despite the high growth margins. We were a bit concerned about our visit, as at the time of our stay, Brunei had just reopened but only partially after a long closure due to well-known causes.
However, it was thanks to our choice of stay, Badi’ Ah Hotel, and to the attention of all the staff and the professionalism of the Hotel Manager, Mr. Darren Tan, that we were able to spend the 4 days we had planned in a pleasant, comfortable and relaxing way inside a structure that is a guarantee in the sector.
Badi’ Ah Hotel is an excellent three-star hotel, located a stone’s throw from the city center – only 15 minutes walking to reach the iconic Omar Alì Saifuddien Mosque – and along an important avenue you will find Istana Nurul Iman – the Palace of the Light of Faith – residence of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei. Badi’ Ah Hotel can guarantee its guests excellent value for money thanks to good quality services at a times that business is getting back to normal.
Of its 55 rooms, all equipped with air conditioning, LCD flat screen TV, safe, free internet access and water kettle with complimentary tea and coffee, 25 are Standard rooms, furnished in a simple but amply comfortable with spaces that do not impose any particular sacrifice; 22 are Superior, more spacious and with slightly more refined furnishings; 8 are Executive Deluxe, the rooms of the highest category, with an even greater surface area than the two previous types, equipped with two queen-size beds, a comfortable sofa and, for those who need to work, two shelves close to the wall where guests are able to open a laptop.
Badi’ Ah Hotel also offers three large halls dedicated to banquets, conferences or events, all equipped with internet connection and properly adaptable to the various possible types of events, factors that make it a preferred choices in the business sector. An outdoor swimming pool and a space dedicated to children complete the recreational facilities of the property.
The hotel’s food & beverage is still conditioned by the recent reopening and by local regulations that do not yet allow to offer buffet meals. Nevertheless, breakfast was the classic exception that confirms the rule: the buffet breakfast was limited in its “mise en place”, yet is was earthy and with a good variety of food.
The property’s independent restaurant, the Bristodeli, offers good local cuisine and, thanks to a Thai chef, Mr. Somboon, excellent Thai cuisine too, though at the time of our visit a regular lunch and dinner service has not yet been reactivated. Bristodeli can be accessed directly from the hotel lobby.
In general terms, Badi’ Ah Hotel certainly proved to be a valid and brilliant structure for our stay in Bandar Seri Begawan despite the limits due to the recent reopening of both the hotel itself and the country, where many tour operators and some important attractions are still closed. Personally I can only confirm that the added value of the structure is to be found in the staff and above all in its Manager, to whom we regularly contacted for what we needed.
Mr. Darren organised our tours for us, successfully finding an adequate balance between price and quality. He also gave us all the information needed to move around the capital of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, giving us the feeling that he was doing all this out of pure passion. In short, it was an important point of reference.
We visited a country that is gradually reopening to tourism, and we felt a bit like pioneers in this almost ‘out of time’ visit. Yet, we have felt interesting potentials in this country which, despite the richness of its subsoil, still maintains its humility and its personality, not yet conditioned or misled by mass tourism. And in this context, Badi’ Ah Hotel occupies an important role, because it fully reflects in the efficiency and simplicity that characterises, in the tourism sector, the entire country.
Asian Itinerary stayed at Badi’ Ah Hotel in June 2022. For accounts of our tours in Brunei, click on the following links:
Photos by Guglielmo Zanchi (Pluto)